A HIGH-RANKING education official has spoken of his pleasure at visiting a North-East secondary school.

John Edwards, Director General for Regions at the Department for Education, visited Hummersknott Academy, in Darlington, as part of his work supporting multi-academy trusts.

He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Hummersknott last week, and particularly having the opportunity to meet with the student College Captains.

“It's very helpful to me to visit schools, to meet with trust and school leaders, and discuss the context in which they work and the opportunities and challenges they see ahead.

“It’s also a pleasure to meet with students and hear what is most important for them, and to see first-hand the different contexts in which schools are working to help pupils and communities.”

He also gave an interview to the school’s student-led newspaper, the Hummersknott Academical, outlining his role and responsibilities, and how the Department for Education engages with schools like Hummersknott and its parent trust, the Advance Learning Partnership (ALP), which oversees 18 schools across the North-East.

Mr Edwards added: “There will always be challenges in balancing the wide set of responsibilities a school has, but it’s good to see that there is a great deal of support available to schools like Hummersknott through ALP, through the range of curriculum hubs and other programmes funded by the government, and through the strong networks that exist between schools and their partners.

“I’d like to thank the staff and particularly the students for their time, and wish them my very best as they head into their GCSEs and beyond.”

James Keating, executive principal of Hummersknott Academy, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome John to our school. I’m very proud of our student College Leaders for the way they represented our community.

“I look forward to our future collaboration with John and his team.”